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Dynamic Bodyuse for Effective Strain-Free Massage

by Darien Pritchard

listed in massage

[Image: Dynamic Bodyuse for Effective Strain-Free Massage]

This is one of those long overdue books which will certainly prove to be a great asset to teachers, practitioners and students of massage (particularly those who are not taught adequately enough the implications of the correct use of the body). Advice for the practitioner on how to make the best use of the body mechanics during a massage treatment has been included in previous books, but quite possibly this is the first text that is dedicated entirely to this subject.

The book therefore is about the dynamic use of the body during massage. Without a doubt, it is essential for the reader to understand what is meant by the word dynamic in order to really appreciate the essence of the book. As the author explains so well in the early chapters, a dynamic use of the body relates to the balance between strength, ease and precision of the massage work. It requires the development of power in an integrated fashion throughout the body, not just relying on the relatively small muscles of the arms and hands, but also harnessing the power of the larger muscles of the legs and lower trunk. Then, as the practitioner moves s/he, ideally uses natural body strength in a dynamic way that is neither hard nor stiff, so that s/he can work with ease.

Very appropriately, the author first of all discusses the massage equipment, the use of comfortable and practical clothing, and even how the practitioner’s own build has to be taken into consideration. The next few chapters cover the use of the massage ‘tools’ i.e. the hands, the forearms, the fisted hand, the thumbs and so forth. Each section depicts the safest, easiest, stress-free and most effective way of using these ‘tools’ during massage. Numerous pictures accompany each instruction, showing not only the correct way of working but also the wrong techniques.

The same theme is continued in the next few chapters which cover to use the body in supporting the working ‘tools’. This whole section is of particular great interest because it one of the areas which is normally poorly taught in schools and colleges. Consequently, it is common for massage practitioners to suffer strains as a result of poor techniques. Using the body well is a combination of relaxation of the shoulders, transmitting power, breathing, energy transmission, pelvic movements and the power from the lower body. This section ends with a chapter on the integration of bodyuse in massage and how techniques can be applied whilst sitting or kneeling down.

Section 7 explains how the mechanics of bodyuse are applied to common massage movements including effleurage, petrissage, pressure strokes, massage without oils, percussion techniques, vibration techniques, lifting and stretching techniques and rhythmical body movements. As in other sections, the instructions are supplemented by many photographs, again showing the correct and wrong positions of working.

The next few chapters are to do with the varied working situations which include massaging the client who is seated and massaging on the floor. A number of patients, like the elderly, are very often not able to lie supine or prone. In these circumstances, an alternative arrangement is needed. An alternative method to lying prone or supine is for the patient to sit. However this can only be carried with an appropriate massage chair. Furthermore and quite often, the only position that is comfortable, and indeed possible, is to be lying on their side. Whilst the sitting arrangement is covered very well in this section, it would have been of great benefit for the reader to have also been shown basic massage movements which can be used with the patient/client lying on their side. The last section of the book deals with useful tips, trouble shooting, scheduling treatments and embarking on a massage career.

This text is extremely well presented, the chapters are planned and structured very well and there are hundreds of illustrations. Many of the illustrations are repeated throughout the book but this is not a hindrance; really, in fact it helps to emphasize the significance of the instruction and reminds the reader of the techniques. The text offers a very comprehensive insight into the practitioner’s body mechanics prior to, during and after a massage treatment and includes very useful instructions, information, suggestions and alternative ways for the practitioner to apply a good massage whilst avoiding mechanics and emotional stress and energy depletion. It is most certainly a must for students, tutors and practitioners.

Further Information

Available from

Mario-Paul Cassar
Lotus Publishing

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